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A brief history of Trade

I’ve compiled all the developer information I could find concerning trade and presented it below. While it may not appear brief it’s labelled as such because it doesn’t include literally everything that’s ever been said about trade but rather contains the most relevant information, with a bias towards more recent developments.

For quotes that are derived from video content I’ve transcribed them to the best of my abilities, but you can click their source links to watch them for yourself.


April 6, 2018

The initial trading system for the game, The Bazaar, was unveiled in a blog post back during pre-alpha. The system was essentially an auction house with certain limitations and rules. In addition, you could also trade with friends, though you had to be friends for a “reasonable amount of time”. This system did receive plenty of feedback in the subsequent months, but I won’t list all that here.

April 2, 2021 & April 9, 2021

Mike Weicker explains the overarching design of the Bazaar during these developer streams, which had changed substantially since its original unveiling. Unfortunately, these streams were not archived to Last Epoch’s YouTube account so I’ve had to source my own transcriptions of them. There were far more questions asked about trade and the Bazaar during further dev streams, but I had stopped transcribing them so these were the easiest to find.

May 20, 2021

Judd Cobler, LE CEO and Game Director, hosts an AMA on Reddit and inevitably receives some questions concerning trade. I found this quote of particular importance because it outlined the design goals of their future trading system, at that time.

July 20, 2021

The Multiplayer FAQ is published which echoed much of what Mike said during the developer streams.

EHG responds to some initial feedback about the system on Reddit.

This new version of the Bazaar would garner a lot of player feedback across multiple platforms over the coming months.

January 27, 2022

In a developer blog it’s announced that several previously planned systems were being removed from the forecast, which included the Bazaar. There were no details given about the new Item Trading forecast item that took its place.

April 27, 2022

Twitch streamer Zizaran interviews Stanzwar and Mike Weicker. They discuss a multitude of topics, with trade being one of them. Considering Stanzwar’s role in multiplayer development it stands to reason that his comments on trade would carry a lot of weight. Personally, I find much of what’s said here to be some of the best information we have on what a future trading system may look like.

May 13, 2022

Not much shared here, but we learned that there wasn’t a trading system in testing at this time.

June 10, 2022

There’s not a whole lot new here about RMT, but considering I don’t have previous dev streams that talk about it I figured I’d include this more recent discussion on the topic.

June 22, 2022

From my research this appears to be the first mention of trade not being included in patch 0.9. This was the same day that the June Dev Update was released, announcing patch 0.9 as the next update. This certainly sparked a lot of renewed interest in the topic of trade.

June 24, 2022

It’s a very quick answer by Mike that appears to be the spark for the Reddit post below it, though it’s hard to confirm that.

June 29, 2022

Mike’s comment during the June 24th dev stream appears to have generated a lot of feedback on Reddit, with many more developer responses than just this one. If you want to read them all be sure to visit the source link of the Reddit thread below.

July 3, 2022

This is basically more of the same, but I’ve included it anyways.

July 7, 2022

A lot of talk about trade not being included in 0.9, the overall complexity of it, and the possibility of having to delay multiplayer further to include it. That last part generates a lot of future discussion.

July 8, 2022

Mike deals with the fallout of hypothetically having to delay multiplayer for trade, and also provides some background as to why trade isn’t quite as easy to implement as some may think.

July 22, 2022

Most of what Mike says here echoes comments made by Stanzwar during the Zizaran interview.

August 26, 2022

Not a whole lot new here either, other than reconfirmation that an auction house type system is not being planned for trade.

The Present

Currently, we still don’t know what trade system is planned for Last Epoch, or if patch 0.9 will include some form of trade. The Official Last Epoch Multiplayer FAQ still holds the only knowledge we have of trade, which isn’t much:

Takeaways

So what can we glean from all this data? Well, we can make some fairly good assumptions about the design goals for any future trade system EHG implements. These would likely be:

  • trade should not invalidate going out and killing monsters
  • trade should have as little impact on the SSF experience as possible
  • trade should take place in-game without the need for third-party resources
  • players should be able to trade with their friends
  • players should find trade engaging, meaningful, and fun
  • an economy similar to PoE’s isn’t desirable as it requires additional resources to maintain
  • the trade system should discourage RMT, or at least make it so undesirable that it’s not worth doing
  • gold will likely be competing with other resources for the role of dominant trading currency

Instanced party trading has been a confirmed feature for a long time now, and would make a great candidate for the first element of trade to be implemented. The next element of trade would likely allow friends to trade with each other regardless of if they were in the same instance or not. This will certainly be challenging to accomplish without conflicting with some of their design goals, but as Mike says it’ll require creative solutions. Also, we know that any trade system(s) implemented are not final and subject to change based on both player feedback and how they perform in large scale testing.

As we’ve learned, trade wasn’t planned for patch 0.9. Though, if we look at previous forecasts, trade has never been aligned with multiplayer so this really isn’t new information. Even the latest iterations of the forecast don’t have Multiplayer & Trading bundled as a single item, they’re still listed as separate items.

The likelihood of trade arriving alongside multiplayer in patch 0.9 will probably come down to a few key factors:

  • the current state of multiplayer development
  • the difficulty, time, and resources it would require to implement trade
  • how much EHG perceives its exclusion would impact the overall reception of multiplayer
  • and if including trade now moves multiplayer out of a favourable launch window or delays 1.0 in any significant way

As Mike states in some of his comments, they’ve received opposing feedback of the necessity for trade in the 0.9 patch. Considering the release of multiplayer may still be several months out this decision could go either way. Selfishly I’d prefer multiplayer and trade release together, but I also understand the development and business realities that may not make that feasible.


I realize this post doesn’t really bring any new information on trade, but I had some spare time to kill and who doesn’t like talking about everyone’s favourite polarizing subject? :sweat_smile:

Did I exclude any valuable trade information? Do you agree or disagree with my takeaways of the data? Or have any good theories as to what trade system they’ll eventually implement?

15 Likes

Bro…all the hard work you put into your threads…
Amazing! Thanks for doing that!

6 Likes

I wasn’t planning on adding to this thread, but the latest dev stream brought some interesting new information on the topic that I felt should be included here.


September 2, 2022

Judd Cobler added this comment below in Twitch chat while Mike was answering the question above.


So it’s now officially the early days of trade testing, which is exciting news. While it doesn’t answer any questions as to what type of trading system it’ll be or if it’ll be included in patch 0.9, it’s still an important achievement and milestone for the team working on it. I look forward to learning more in the future.

4 Likes

Thanks for the work. Good read at work when things are slow.

My take is just wait and see what comes up. Pointless to guess and dream about how trade should be etc. Rather it takes a while and comes out good, than be promised the moon and be delivered a pebble so to speak.

2 Likes

I’m glad to hear that they are testing a version of trade and hopefully it will show up in some form in 0.9. There’s really not much more to say until they’ve revealed their plans.

1 Like

I probably won’t feel the need to update this again, but we did receive a lot of information surrounding trade in the last couple weeks that I felt needed to be added here. None of this information included any specifics as to how trade will work or anything but rather how it’s progressing, and that some form of trade would indeed be included in patch 0.9.


September 9, 2022

Mike reiterates much of what he said during the September 2, 2022 dev stream.

September 14, 2022

This was the first of two Multiplayer Dev Q&A streams that took place. Judd talks about trade from a high-level viewpoint and reveals that their first trade system will be tested by the Community Testers in the coming weeks to get feedback on before being unveiled to everyone at a later date. Also, Dan speaks to just how much they’ve discussed trade and the options they’ve considered.

September 15, 2022

In this second Multiplayer Dev Q&A stream Judd and Dan reiterate a lot of what was said in the first stream – detailing many of the high-level goals they have for trade and how important it is that they get it right for the game they’re trying to make.

September 16, 2022

Mike reiterates points he’s discussed in both the September 2nd and 9th streams, but then reveals that the plan is to have some form of item transfer available in patch 0.9.

September 23, 2022

Again, Mike comments that some form of trade is planned to be coming in patch 0.9.

September 24, 2022

Mike comments that nothing is known about how any future trade system will function and that they’re still working on its implementation and testing. So, nothing really new here but I included it anyways.


I imagine the next time we receive any meaningful information concerning trade it’ll be within its own development blog. I’m looking forward to it.

2 Likes

→ “trade should have absolutely no influence on the SFF experience”
Fixed it for you; you welcome.

Good luck with that, especially given (currently) you can switch from ssf to normal.

Absotively, posilutely. :smiley:

1 Like